NSW Alcohol Interlock Program:

Over the last 12 months the GLAD service at SLHD has noticed an increase of GP enquiries concerning the NSW Government Alcohol Interlock Program.

GPs were concerned about being asked to complete documents about their patients on the Interlock Program without being clear about the expectations of their role in the program.

What is the NSW Alcohol Interlock Program?

The Alcohol Interlock Program is a court-ordered requirement for drink driving offenders.

‘Interlock’ is an electronic breath-testing device which is linked to the ignition system of cars, motorcycles, and heavy vehicles.

If convicted of a serious drink driving offence, the driver will be restricted to driving with an interlock device for a specified time before returning to driving.

A zero-alcohol limit applies to all interlock drivers and the vehicle will not start if alcohol is detected.

In response to general practitioner and other community-based healthcare services needing to know more about ‘Alcohol Interlock’, the Specialty of Addiction Medicine at the University of Sydney presented a Sydney Addiction Seminar on the topic: NSW Alcohol Interlock Program & Fitness to Drive Medical Assessments.


  1. NSW Health About the Interlock Program: https://www.nsw.gov.au/driving-boating-and-transport/demerits-penalties-and-offences/offences/alcohol-and-drug-offences/alcohol-interlock-program#toc-information-for-doctors-and-health-professionals
  2. The National assessing fitness to drive guidelines for commercial and private vehicle drivers, provides information about fitness to drive, medical assessments, conditional licencing, alcohol interlock programs, and other aspects related to driving safety: https://austroads.com.au/publications/assessing-fitness-to-drive/ap-g56
  3. Related education activity: The University of Sydney though the Ministry of Health funded Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC) offer a free short-course on driving safety, focusing on fitness to drive and sedating medication in the context of opioid treatment pharmacotherapies. The principles of this course will be of benefit to GPs wanting to increase their knowledge of managing patients who may take sedating medications. Create an account at www.otac.org.au to get started.